We recently drove down to Tuscarora State Park near Tamaqua to do a hike. This park features a scenic lake surrounded by ridges and several miles of trails. Our hike was on the Spirit of Tuscarora Trail, also called the Spirit Trail, widely regarded as the most scenic trail in the park. The trail is blazed yellow, white, and red and is basically two loops and connector trails that follow Locust Creek. We parked at the end of the parking area and soon found the trail. It explored a beautiful forest of hemlock, pine, and rhododendron above the lake. The trail dropped down to the water, providing views of the forested mountains on the far shore. After a short climb, the forest became more scenic with jungles of rhododendron. A left turn brought us to Locust Creek as the trail stayed fairly close to the babbling water through more rhododendron and hemlocks.
The scenery improved with more streamside hiking and even some rhododendron tunnels. This is the hike to do in early July when the rhodos bloom. Locust Creek was clear as it peacefully flowed over cobblestone and into deeper pools.
The red trail brought us to a meadow and began to loop around onto an old grade. We dropped down under pine and hemlock to another side stream with more great scenery and a massive, fallen pine tree. We reached the white trail again and turned left. After an initial tunnel of rhodos, the forest became more open and then we returned on the yellow trail.
We hiked along the lake and saw two bald eagles flying in the strong wind. They seemed to be having fun swirling on the currents in the air. We hiked along the lake, enjoying views as the sunlight shimmered across the water. After checking out the yurts and small cabins, we returned to the car.
Tuscarora State Park is a very nice place to spend a day, or weekend. The lake is beautiful and has a small beach. The forested trails offer great scenery, with plenty of green even in winter thanks to all the pine, hemlock, and rhododendron. There are also trails across meadows that feature wildflowers. You may even catch a glimpse of some bald eagles.